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Climbing on Standing Stones
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Edited Mar 03, 2012, 11:06
Deliberately conciliatory remarks
Mar 03, 2012, 07:10
I personally don't think what has been happening here is a load of moral puritans telling passionate activists not to touch stones and if that's how it is seen then both lots are to blame, the former for not expressing themselves adequately and the latter for assuming the worst of several possible meanings.

Anyhow, for the record, I totally accept this:

"I - and I'm positive other active members like the SC, Postman, Drew, Lionous, Mr Cane etc, etc, - would never, ever harm a site.... call me weird, but I believe I can tell through the way their images are taken. Trust in us, Juamei. We really are on the same side."

On the other hand, I think I'm entitled to recognition that just because I can't climb up mountains that doesn't make me (and others who think like me) a puritan, or a holier than thou keyboard-bound type who is unaware of the need to interact-to-preserve and to search-to-discover or who doesn't recognise the Cope message.

We can all keep finding short quotes in this thread to reinforce erroneous assumptions about what the other side is like or means or we can simply accept that it is utterly inconceivable that either of the assumptions is correct, and talk without such prejudices. How ludicrous that anyone here would think anyone here would think anyone here would ever harm a site and how ludicrous that anyone here would think anyone here was so out of it that they thought stones must never be touched!

In fact though, I'm not sure anyone thinks either of those things. To do so would be to deliver the most outrageous insult towards fellow stoneheads. Fancy thinking any of us would deliberately harm sites! Fancy thinking any of us thinks amateur enthusiasts should be followed by a symbolic man with a clip board and a list of rules! It's cock in both cases. Which doesn't matter because none of us believes either.

I suspect what has exacerbated and confused this conflict is a brief clash of two worlds - the pioneering and independent spirit of the Yorkshire moors or the Peaks on a day trip to the much more controlled environment of a world heritage site in Wiltshire. On the Moors and Mountains independent action rules, and much benefit is delivered thereby. In Wilts, you just don't climb standing stones. (And it's notable that of 4 people only the 2 non-locals climbed, and at least one of the locals was shocked). You just don't, not because it damages them but because with a million people coming every year you have to keep to a standard of behaviour that ensures they don't think climbing monuments is OK - particularly in situations elsewhere where it may actually cause damage. So you just don't, and people get shocked if you do or if it transpires on TMA of all places that stoneheads of all people have been doing it . And resentful as well if the whole thing is dressed up as an exploration and diagnosis exercise that rule-bound illiterate southern softies are incapable of doing. And haven't. But what's the betting they have though. Thoroughly. And expertly. This is a major monument in the Avebury WHS, not a newly discovered bit of moorland rock art. That misjudgement - arrogance actually - is the worst bit of cock in all this. The foremost Rock art experts in their respective locations says one of them. So they might be if that's what they want to say, congrats to them, but in Wessex? More like show-off puppies on a daytrip if you ask me, which you haven't, completely misjudging the (modern) cultural landscape that forms the backdrop of the Devil's Den - which is a bit of an embarrassing bummer for self-proclaimed rock art experts.

Anyhow, that's me done on TMA for a while. I hate the way banned people and others turn up with changed names over and over and i just know I'll be targeted if I continue. They've arrived early this year but they'll be deprived of the annual megameet thread-wrecking fun this time as we won't be advertising it on TMA. (Yes I know that's inconsistent with "conciliatory remarks" but sod it, five times bitten over something as innocent as a megameet makes you bitter). Please be assured though I'm not anti "Moorland and Mountain Megalithomania" and all the good stuff it implies but equally I'm all in favour of developing a Code. One that says, Visitors, please respect and stay off the stones. Objecting to that on the grounds that it doesn't fit with MMM is doing a disservice to the cause IMO. Call it a Visitors' Code. That exempts MMM semi-pro exponents from it, and simply asks them to keep to it in very public places and everyone's happy.
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